Now entering his 15th season as head coach, David Wong has become synonymous Lamar Women's Tennis after elevating the program back into a yearly Southland championship contender.
Wong, a former Cardinal tennis player himself, is familiar with the rich history of LU Tennis, and after stepping into a program that won just six matches over his first two seasons, the Lady Cards have reached double figures in victories in all but one of his last 10, including a historic 24-3 season campaign in 2008 that culminated with a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The winningest coach in school history, Wong became the first to win 150 matches in 2012 with a victory over Arkansas State. He holds an overall record of 170-149 with the LU women.
In addition to team success, a number of Lady Cards have earned individual recognition from the Southland Conference. Over Wong's 12 years in charge, a Lady Card player has been named to the All-Southland squad 18 times and a doubles team has been honored as such seven times.
Two players, Andrea Martinez and Mariaryeni Gutierrez have taken home the conference's highest honor, Player of the Year, garnering the award in the 2006 and 2010 seasons, respectively.
In 2013, Wong's team experienced a tremendous run of success at home, reeling off seven consecutive victories in Beaumont before bowing out in a heartbreaker in the conference tournament. Led by All-Southland honorees Carolina Salas and Dariya Dashutina, the Lady Cards posted an impressive 7-2 mark in conference play, leading LU to an 11-9 overall record.
With Dashutina and Salas getting a spot on the conference's second team, it marked the fourth straight season that the Southland had honored multiple Lady Cards, the longest such streak in school history.
The 2012 season represented Wong's eighth consecutive season of 12 or more wins. After a slow start to the campaign, All-Southland honorees Alessandra Pennesi and Hélène Czudek combined with a 15-win debut season by Salas to take the Cardinals to a 7-4 conference slate before being upended by UT Arlington at the Southland Championships.
Following a 14-9 season in 2010, the Lady Cards took advantage of all-conference campaigns by Kaltrina Harbuzi, Gutierrez, Natalia Mayagoitia and Diana Mendez to post a 19-3 record in 2011, one of the best seasons in school history. LU also tallied a 10-1 mark in Southland play for the third time in four seasons, tying for the best conference mark in school history.
It was a strong way to end a career for both Harbuzi and Gutierrez, who combined to earn All-SLC honors seven times over those four seasons, with an impressive six on the first team. Gutierrez was also the second player in school history to earn Player of the Year, taking home the award in 2010.
Perhaps no two seasons standout as much in Lamar history as those of 2008 and 2009, which saw the Lady Cards run out to a 41-9 record with an eye-popping 20-2 mark in Southland play. In 2008, LU went 24-3, which ranks as the best win percentage in school history, ending with a trip to the NCAA Tournament and conference tournament championship. A season later, the Lady Cards racked up 17 more victories to secure the first back-to-back seasons with 15 or more wins since 1983-84.
After going 5-17 and 1-23 in his first two seasons in 2001 and 2002, respectively, 2007 marked one of the more impressive achievements of Wong's career as he guided the program to a third consecutive 12-or-more win season, a feat that had not been matched in school history.
Andrea Martinez proved to be vital in the run, becoming the first three-time All-Southland honoree in school history and becoming the school's first ever Player of the Year, earning it on the heels of the 2006 season.
A scholarship athlete for the Lamar men's tennis team from 1980-84, Wong played under the legendary Ron Wesbrooks, who led the Cards to five conference championships in 17 seasons. During his four years competing for the Red and White, the team was 57-43, and the 1980 season was one of just three to rack up 20-or-more wins in a season.
In addition to Wesbrooks, Wong played for Ken DeKoning, who was a former Davis Cup player and team captain for Holland. He also trained under Humphrey Hose, a former number one player for Venezuela, who reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 1975. Originally a native of Aruba, one of Wong's first coaches was Eddie Ras, who is widely regarded as one of the top coaches in the Caribbean.
As a player, Wong was ranked No. 2 in the state of Texas in men's 35 singles, and he and his wife were also the top-ranked husband/wife doubles team in the state.
Wong is a USPTA-certified tennis instructor, and he has worked with nationally-ranked junior players as well as adult teams and both local and national levels.
A 1997 graduate of Lamar, Wong currently resides in Nederland with his wife, Missy. He has three children - Michael, Sydney and Jayci, and two stepchildren - Brandon and Mindy.